One of the things Brian and I miss most about living in Napa is the wide variety of amazing food available there. It was always a struggle to decide, when we were going to go out, where we should go because there were so many great choices, many of which did not need reservations 6 months in advance. So of course, when a new restaurant in the Finger Lakes comes on our radar we have got to go check it out.
I had heard great things about Kindred Fare in Geneva, NY from many of my friends so I decided to try it, sight unseen, last week with visiting colleagues from San Francisco. It was a Tuesday night and the crowd was full but not packed which was a good sign. The wine list is a nice mix of local stars and global examples of mostly cool climate wines which are complementary to the restaurant’s farm to table offerings. The list is curated by Bob Madill, a local fixture here in the region, likely best known as a tireless Finger Lakes ambassador and one of the founders of Cayuga lake treasure, Sheldrake Point Winery, who is currently working with Glenora. My colleagues had never visited the area before and I felt that this restaurant, representing the rising foodie scene in Geneva plus their local wine offerings would be a perfect introduction.
The kitchen sent out an amuse bouche of baked potato with two cheeses which was a lovely start to the meal. For our appetizer we ordered the flatbread which had braised duck, caramelized onions, and delicious melted cheese topping a fantastic flatbread crust. It was wonderful. To pair, we chose the Ravines Single Vineyard Chardonnay (Stone and Chalk) from the White Springs vineyard. To choose a Riesling would be obvious, but at this point, even the farthest wine lover here in the US has heard that we make good Riesling here. Chardonnay from the Finger Lakes was an unknown to my two friends so it was a good choice to demonstrate the versatility of the region.
All three of us happened to be duck lovers so we each chose the Roast Duck with plum sriracha, mushroom, bok choy, peanuts, cilantro, and daikon-carrot pickles. To pair we chose the Red Newt Glacier Ridge Pinot Noir (Elegant and Floral). This one was exciting for me since I had just finished espousing my passion for Pinot Noir in the Finger Lakes and although many that I taste currently are not where they need to be yet, this one was showing very well and complemented the duck completely. Yes, we were the three duck table! Dessert was a fantastic bread pudding which is one of my personal favorites.
I immediately went home and began talking about the dinner with Brian and how amazing it was. As a twist of fate would have it, my mother in law was in town due to my son being sick that week and with him having to stay home from school, we needed backup. She, always a fan of date nights, suggested that we should go out ourselves the next night. Thus, I ended up walking back into Kindred Fare the very next night for a second fantastic dinner. This time we tried the Boundary Breaks clone 239 Riesling (Zesty and Fruity) which was delicious and highlighted everything that I love about the variety. It was a bit more sweet than expected but still went well with the meal which started off with a mixed bread basket and house made chunky style hummus.
I chose one of the nightly specials, the Coq a Vin (Roast Chicken with red wine based sauce) with various roasted vegitables. Brian got the Braised beef shank goulash which was a meal choice that I had toyed with both nights that I had been there. According to him, the meat fell apart at the touch of a fork and had a kick but was not overly spicy (that is why I didn’t order it myself since I try to stay far away from anything with heat spice). It was mouthwateringly good. We finished off dinner each with ice cream. I chose Blood Orange and Brian chose Chicory. Both were amazing but after the first taste swap neither of us were keen to share.
That is how I ended up two nights in a row at one of Geneva’s newest foodie destinations and I am actually contemplating going back this Friday as well. Amazing food can be found in the Finger Lakes if one is willing to drive a bit to find it. I find myself a bit envious of my friends in Geneva, which has become ground zero for the culinary revolution happening here, since they are so close to the action. I highly recommend a visit to Kindred Fare if you happen to be in the region!